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MIT Incubator and Theta Labs Build Blockchain Ecosystem for Streaming

Wed, 05/16/2018 - 20:32
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Urvashi Verma
Theta Labs and MIT ’s incubator Play Labs are partnering to build an ecosystem for streaming content.
MIT Incubator and Theta Labs Build Blockchain Ecosystem for Streaming
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Theta Labs, a Blockchain-based entertainment platform, announced a partnership with MIT ’s startup incubator Play Labs to build a new ecosystem for streaming content.

Startups participating in Play Labs will now integrate the Theta protocol for video streaming, music, entertainment, e-sports and other media applications to increase access to content and reduce costs.

As part of the agreement, Theta Labs will sponsor Play Labs’ summer 2018 batch, which includes Blockchain startups coming out of the MIT ecosystem.

Theta’s platform provides a means for end users to pay content creators directly when uploading and live streaming content on Netflix, YouTube, major CDNs like Akamai and a new generation of apps, the company says.

Mitch Liu, CEO and founder of Theta, says:

As we roll out the Theta protocol, we already see applications across many industries - e-sports, entertainment, training, music and more. Our partnership with MIT Play Labs is intended to foster that ecosystem of innovation that develops the platforms of the future. This partnership is to encourage new startups, i.e. the next generation of YouTube and Netflix to build on top of blockchain, just like previous generations built on the web and CDNs.

Using a mesh network of PCs, mobile and IoT devices, Theta’s system compensates users with tokens for the use of extra bandwidth and computing resources to relay video streams.

The tokens can be used for a variety of purposes, including paying for premium content on YouTube, monthly subscriptions, rewarding streamers and removing advertisements from streaming content. Tokens can also be exchanged for other crypto or fiat currencies.


Streaming and blockchain are critical technological areas for Play Labs because they hold the potential to deliver real value, says Riz Virk, Executive director of Play Labs:

“A new decentralized video streaming architecture like Theta’s can be very disruptive to the entertainment and live streaming industries, especially when considering the surge in video content coming with the rise of e-sports, VR, 8k and more.”

Theta’s first integration will be with Sliver.TV, an e-sports streaming platform which has more than five million visits each month.

Mitch Liu, CEO and founder of Theta adds:

“We are also working with Samsung VR to prototype a way to distribute VR content. We believe Theta is especially well-suited to support live streaming or interactive VR in emerging economies where existing connections are shaky at best.”

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About the author

Urvashi Verma is a Chicago-based reporter who writes about the convergence of technology and business. She is interested in fintech, digital currencies, blockchain and currency markets. Urvashi formerly worked with the Times of Israel covering Israel's booming tech industry including Start-Up Nation, venture capital investment, and crowd-funding platforms.